FM Qureshi reaffirms Pakistan’s long-standing ties with Iraq
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Saturday reaffirmed Pakistan’s long-standing and friendly ties with Iraq and expressed Pakistan’s desire to further enhance existing bilateral ties in all spheres of cooperation.
The foreign minister called on the President of the Republic of Iraq, Dr Barham Salih. The foreign minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.
Acknowledging the unyielding efforts and sacrifices of Iraq, and its people, in the fight against terrorism, the foreign minister wished peace, progress and prosperity for the brotherly people of Iraq.
Qureshi briefed the president on Pakistan’s transformed vision centred around economic security, shifting focus from geo-politics to geo-economics. He outlined Pakistan’s desire to offer itself as an economic hub through peace, development partnerships and connectivity.
The president agreed that the two countries needed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in mutually beneficial areas. Appreciating Prime Minister Imran Khan’s environmental initiatives, he hoped for greater cooperation in this field.
The foreign minister and the president also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest.
Foreign minister Qureshi briefed the president on the situation in South Asia, in particular Pakistan’s approach towards the issues and disputes with India, Pakistan’s consistent support for the Afghan Peace Process, and Pakistan’s steadfast diplomatic support for the just cause of Palestine.
He also highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to promote solidarity among the Muslim Ummah. He offered Pakistan’s support and cooperation for Iraq’s efforts toward rebuilding and strengthening the country.
President Salih warmly welcomed the foreign minister and reciprocated the feelings expressed on behalf of Pakistan’s leadership. He thanked the foreign minister for Pakistan’s understanding and support.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi is on a three-day bilateral visit to Iraq, at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart.
Earlier, Qureshi was accorded a warm welcome by the Foreign Minister of Iraq Dr Fuad Hussein, as they met in Baghdad.
The two Foreign Ministers held delegation-level talks and later continued their conversation over the lunch hosted by the Iraqi Foreign Minister. The foreign ministers also delivered statements to the press after the delegation-level talks.
During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. They reaffirmed the long-standing and friendly ties between the two countries, rooted in shared faith, values and culture, and expressed a desire to further augment bilateral relations.
The two also discussed how the global pandemic compounded various challenges faced by the developing countries. Stressing that no single country could overcome the COVID-19 pandemic alone, Qureshi stressed the importance of international cooperation to save lives and livelihoods. He outlined Pakistan’s strategy to manage the pandemic, which included assisting friendly countries such as Iraq, where Pakistan dispatched three planes load of COVID-related assistance in March 2021.
Foreign Minister Qureshi stressed the importance of maintaining momentum in the high-level and Ministerial visits between the two countries and early convening of the 9th Session of the Pakistan - Iraq Joint Ministerial Commission. The idea of establishing an overarching framework of consultations at the Foreign Ministers’ level also came under discussion. Foreign Minister Qureshi also highlighted the importance of concluding agreements and MoUs in diverse fields already being negotiated by respective departments of the two sides.
They discussed bilateral cooperation in multilateral organizations, in particular the United Nations, its subsidiary organizations, Human Rights Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Expressing satisfaction at the existing collaboration, Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s desire to forge closer partnership in key multilateral organizations for strengthening mutual support, and to effectively promote the perspectives shared by both countries.
The two Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the regional situation and issues of mutual interest. Foreign Minister Qureshi briefed his counterpart on the situation in South Asia, in particular the situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan's efforts to promote peace despite the vitiated environment created by India. He stressed that peace in the region was contingent on resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Foreign Minister Qureshi extended a cordial invitation to Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein to visit Pakistan, which was accepted graciously.